PULLMAN, Wash. — Agricultural Economics Professor Ken Casavant has been appointed
Washington State University’s faculty athletic representative by President Samuel H. Smith.
Casavant succeeds Irving Tallman, professor of sociology, who held the half-time position
since 1994.
In announcing the appointment, Smith said Casavant will play a role in establishing policy
and direction for WSU athletics and have primary responsibility for monitoring the academic
performance of student athletes. Casavant also will serve as chair of the WSU Athletic Council
and liaison to the Pac-10 Conference and the NCAA.
“Ken has a good sense of WSU,” Smith said. “He is a highly respected faculty member who
has also has served in central administrative positions.
“I am very pleased that Ken has agreed to serve in this capacity. He will represent all
aspects of WSU in his role with the Pac-10,” the president added. Casavant joins Smith, Athletic
Director Rick Dickson and Senior Associate AD Marcia Saneholtz as the university’s four
representatives to the Pac-10 and NCAA.
“My goal is to help student athletes realize they are students first,” Casavant said. “I also
hope to help the university community understand what is happening in athletics.” His job
description also lists other roles to “promote academic integrity and institutional control of
athletic activities.”
Casavant, who just returned from professional leave, has served as interim vice provost for
academic affairs and interim vice provost for research. He also was chair of the Faculty Senate
and co-chair of the WSU Foundation’s Faculty/Staff Drive. Casavant has received several major
teaching awards, including a national honor from the American Agricultural Economic
He is a former Pullman City Council member and a past president of the Pullman Chamber of
Commerce. A transportation specialist, he helped design Pullman’s transit system. He also has
served on the Pullman-Moscow Airport Board.
Casavant held a position on the Northwest Power Planning Council from 1994-98.
He came to WSU as a graduate student in 1967 and earned his doctorate in 1971. He has
taught in the agricultural economics department since 1970.